Author

Lynn A. Good

Year of Publication

1979

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

Abstract

This needs assessment research project concerns itself with the lack of parental involvement in preschool programs. The lack of communication between educators and parents is examined in relation to its effects on the child and the community. One possible way to begin to solve this problem is presented through the use of a survey questionnaire for parents and teachers concerning what each group feels are the primary considerations, or needs, for quality preschool educational programs.

The considerations surveyed resulted from an in depth review of the literature pertaining to major early childhood concerns. This research examined five areas of review; the relationship of parents to preschools, the background of early childhood education and philosophies, the curriculum objectives in the affective domain, the curriculum objectives in the cognitive domain, and the curriculum objectives in the psychomotor domain. The resulting questionnaires consisted of twelve questions with three different types of responses. Three hundred parental questionnaires were distributed to four private nursery-kindergarten schools in a middle to upper-middle class section of a large Southern city. Fifty teachers, half who taught in the same schools surveyed and half who taught in the same area of the city, were surveyed.

The resulting responses were tabulated individually and percentages totaled for each response. A large percentage of the parents--55.3%-- and all the teachers responded to the questionnaire. Both groups were in agreement on most of the questions. The parents expressed the same basic concerns for their children's preschool education as did the teachers themselves. Parental apathy, misplaced values, and ignorance were ruled out as possible reasons for their lack of involvement. Instead, the major cause for lack of parental involvement in preschool programs was determined to be a feeling of intimidation on the part of the parents. In order to remedy this situation, it is suggested that the educators involved need to be the ones to actively structure parental involvement in their educational programs. Several suggestions for this structuring are presented in the conclusions section of this project.

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